Transcript for A juror struggles with one teen's 'contradictory' confession: Part 7
Free the Harlem three! Now! After ten days of deliberations, the verdict. Yusef salaam, Raymond santana and antron Mccray, all 16, were convicd of the rape and assault of the central park jogger. Thank you. Law and order in the nation's largest city seemed to get a boost tonight as the first three youths to be tried in the central park jogger case were found guilty of gang rape and brutal assault and robbery. The emotional trial underscored ugly racial tensions in the city. Some demonstrators claiming the defendants were arrested just because they were black. In the climate of New York City at that point in time, there was no surprise about the verdict. You're a lying whore! You're a liar! You expected it. I thought after the first trial with Yusef salaam and the other two that maybe in the second trial, they would say, "Well, we got three. This will be different." But you always try to hope against hope. The two defendants in the second trial were Kevin Richardson and Korey wise. What's the old sayin'? If it ain't broke, don't fix it? They used these confessions with effectiveness in the first trial, and the strategy was if it worked once, it'll work again. Play the tapes and let the jurors judge for themselves. The tape was brutal. In fact, it was so graphic, some of the jurors, at least a couple of them, looked like they were having a hard time watching it. It was the confessions that were on tape that were the heart of everything. The prosecutor kept going back to that, emphasizing that, constantly hammered into us. Legal scholars have referred to confession evidence as the gold standard, the king of evidence. The sight and sound of an individual incriminating himself is as powerful as it gets. In 1990, it was hard to believe that the police would actually coerce children into making false confessions. I don't think any of us could completely grasp that idea at that point in time. In the pre-podcast, documentary mode, pre-netflix, people didn't know about false confessions. But the system knew about false confessions. In the second trial, the jury struggled with Korey wise's confessions. There were two statements. They were all over the place. The facts were contradictory, self-contradicted. Who was the first person to have sex with her? It was Raymond. Who was the first one who had sex with her? It was Steve. In a sense, and ironically, Korey wise's lack of consistency ended up working in his favor at the trial. Because the jury wondered, "Was it just all wrong?" Why do you want to change the statement you made before? When the detective came in my face arguing, cursing at me, hitting on me, I thought about it. I said to myself, "You know, you said a lie." They took advantage of my whole little innocent being. Took advantage of all that. Now the jury all saw the confession tape of Korey wise in its entirety tonight, and they're upstairs working, deliberating, right now. It looks like they are going to make this night a late one. I didn't believe that he had anything to do with the rape. Korey wise's confession didn't make any sense compared to anything else. It just didn't line up. Several of the jurors kept at me and at me. They pushed me to go to the other direction, and I wished to god I had just hung the jury on that. And that's -- that's been my biggest regret for 30 years. Tonight, two young men charged in that infamous attack face the prospect of spending several years of their young lives behind bars. The courtroom was hushed. The judge warned the spectators to be quiet. Then the jury foreman read the verdicts. Korey wise, found guilty of sexual abuse, first degree assault and riot. Then with respect to Kevin Richardson, guilty on every charge. The trial was very intense. Elizabeth Lederer, to her credit, did a phenomenal job of putting the case together. When they read the verdict, it was like the worst day of our lives. It was like somebody just stabbing you in the heart. And the haunting image that I will never forget is of my brother, looking at us, crying. We were in shock. Then, outside, the family of Kevin Richardson aimed their grief at the press. One man with the family picked up a piece of concrete and looked like he was going to throw it. We like to believe that New York City is a gorgeous mosaic. Trials like this reflect the fact that there's a deep crack in that mosaic, especially as it relates to young black men. Mccray, Richardson, santana, salaam, they all get five to ten, and they go away as juveniles. One of them, Korey wise, is sentenced to 5 to 15 as an adult. Even when admitting their guilt and expressing remorse might have actually given them a shot at being paroled sooner, none of them would. I was in prison for a crime that I didn't commit. It was just really the, like, despair. You know you don't have your family around you. You want your family. You want to see your family and your loved ones. You want to see your friends. I saw life standing still. And the reason I say that is when you put someone in prison, the world outside moves forward. People have gotten older. People have moved on. Some have died, you know. Things have changed, but they don't hardly go anywhere. Then five years after the trials are over, the teenagers are in prison. There's a milestone involving Trisha meili. In the fall of 1995, I ran the New York City marathon. And I felt so proud of the hard work that had gotten me there. 'Cause it was hard. I mean, I worked hard. And in that moment, I realized or I felt that I had reclaimed my park. And it was so exhilarating. Couple of years after Trisha meili runs the marathon again, the teenagers who had been convicted start to come out of prison. They're in their 20s. And so ultimately the four men, who had been 14 and 15 at the time, were conditionally released based on, you know, time off for good behavior after about 7 or 8 years. I'm so bitter. I got so much anger in me, you know? I'm not the type of person to turn a cheek. I mean, we lost our lives. We grew up in the system. You know, I used to tell my brother, "Because you know what you did. God knows what you did. So it doesn't matter what any man has to say. You keep your head up high." People were outraged with the verdict. We found many people blamed the media. Can I ask you? No, I don't want to be asked anything. Why should you ask me anything? You've done enough damage as it is. The media fell down on its job. I had put together a sample of 251 articles representative of the coverage. 12 articles -- not 12% -- 12 articles in that sample used the term "Alleged." If there's a fault of some who covered the central park jogger story, it may be I wasn't skeptical enough. We're live at supreme court in lower Manhattan. Hey, hey, ho, ho, all rapists got to go. Maybe were too willing to accept a result that provided peace, when a better job in journalism is digging and digging and digging until you get to the bottom of the trough. It turned out that's where Matias Reyes was.
This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.